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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:41 am

Will Solus overwrite my EFI-Partition and Windows Bootloader?

Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:45 am

Hey there, I really wanted to try out Solus after Ubuntu, but during installation I got a bit concerned how the bootloader for solus is going to be installed on my drive. I also probably don’t quite understand how the EFI-Partition and bootloaders work, so I hope my question is not too stupid:

When I installed Ubuntu 17.04 when it was released I set aside a 50GB partition on my GPT-partitioned SSD that had already Windows 10 installed.

After I installed Ubuntu, my PC would still boot straight into Windows and the only way to boot into Ubuntu was to bring up my Motherboards Boot-Menu and select the partition I had set aside for Ubuntu, which would then bring up GRUB where I had the option to either choose Ubuntu or the Windows Boot-Manager (which would in turn boot into Windows)

This setup I really liked because I still mainly use Windows 10 and only want to boot into Ubuntu once in a while when I needed to get some work for college done.

When I wanted to install Solus, at first I was impressed that not only was detecting Windows and offering me to shink its partition to make space for Solus, but it even detected my Ubuntu installation and offered me to replace it. I choose the latter when through the installation steps when I stopped at the summary where it was telling me that it would install the bootloader on sda2 (the 100MB EFI-Partition). As far as I understood it my previous Ubuntu installation didn’t do this but installed the grub bootloader onto the 50GB location beside the actual OS-installation, which in turn gave me the booting behavior I described above, which I really want to keep.

If I let Solus install the bootloader onto this EFI-partition that is already being used by Windows, doesn’t this mean it will replace the windows bootloader with the solus one?

I suppose it will also be able to boot into Windows (just like grub can), but I really don’t want this, and want to keep my Windows 10 including its boot manager, and Solus separate (also what happens if on day I decide to remove Solus again, leaving me with no boot manager at all?). And as far as I understood it, this will also result in a prompt from the bootloader, every time I start my PC, where I have to choose if I want to boot Windows or Solus, which I also don’t want. I just want to continue starting my PC and boot straight into Windows and only boot into Solus if I make the deliberate choice to select the Solus partition via my Motherboards Boot-Menu on startup.

Is there a way to do this?

I attached an image of my current partitions, with the 50GB partition I want to install Solus on (I already removed Ubuntu by now)

Development Team
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:35 pm

Re: Will Solus overwrite my EFI-Partition and Windows Bootloader?

Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:26 am

EFI allows multiple bootloaders, i.e. Solus will install a bootloader onto the drive (and won't delete any other files on it). I imagine your other linux install also did this or it would be unbootable with EFI. However, 100MB is too small for an ESP, so you are likely better off to make another one for Solus (512MB is the recommended size).

Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:43 am

Re: Will Solus overwrite my EFI-Partition and Windows Bootloader?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:17 am

Rather than add another ESP partition, . . another option is to use the gparted utility (on any live linux iso bootable stick) . . to expand the 100 mb ESP to 512 or 768 mb. That will allow for dual Windows and Solus boot managers in the same partition. The fewer partitions, the better.

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